Here comes another tattoo for Marton's Queen of Aces

MORE INK: Marton woman Jenny Ritchie gets a new tattoo every time she scores a hole in one.
MORE INK: Marton woman Jenny Ritchie gets a new tattoo every time she scores a hole in one.

Not many 65-year-old golfers have their legs adorned with tattoos.

But accomplished Marton golfer Jenny Ritchie has, and there are more coming.

She believes she can find space on her left leg for another tattoo, her 11th, each one signifying the year of a hole-in-one during her career stretching all of 50 years. She already has eight inscribed on her right leg, two on the left, a habit which started in 2006.

Ritchie, a representative golfer and former Manawatu-Wanganui selector, nailed her 11th on the par 3 12th at Levin on Sunday.

At this rate, "my legs will have to grow a bit," she said with a laugh.

To be in sight of a dozen is an extraordinary feat, even for a player of Ritchie's calibre, a 5.9 handicapper.

"I just think it's a lot of luck," she said.

"You can be a good golfer and not get a hole in one."

She aced the hole during the Manawatu-Wanganui masters team trial on Sunday. A year ago she did the same thing during the same trial, at the Feilding Golf Club.

At Levin she used a 5 rescue club off the tee which is 142 metres out on to the trickiest, sloping green at Moutere.

"They were terrible conditions," she said."There was a howling gale and we were using two to three extra clubs into the wind.

"The ball landed on the left side, ran across the green and into the hole threequarters of the way up the green.

"There were lots of screams, yells and yahoos."

These days Ritchie doesn't see long distances as well as she once did and was certain the ball had gone through the green. Not so her partner, Levin's Joanne Wilton-Eadie, and she was right.

Back in 1966, Ritchie didn't see her ball go in the hole then either for her first hole in one.

Only a teenager then living out in the country, she was playing the long-since defunct Kimbolton Golf Club located on a farm about 5km south of the village.

Because she was too young to drink alcohol, her father took home the prize of two bottles of gin.

As a 51-year-old in 2000, she merited mention in American magazine Sports Illustrated for holes in one on successive days on the seventh hole using a seven iron at Wanganui's Belmont course.

Ritchie is a cinch to be in the representative team for the national masters tournament at Springfield, Rotorua, in April. She is leading the trials from Rangitikei's Jill Hall.

Manawatu Standard